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2020/03/10 第452期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份直接訂閱

Spinach: The Hype and New Research 誤會大了!其實菠菜含鐵量少十倍
by Lauren McCarthy



  If someone has ever advised you to eat spinach to boost your iron intake, they’re probably basing their advice on the same flawed study that prompted cartoon character Popeye to gobble up the green vegetable. You have to go back to the 19th century to “get to the bottom of this.” In 1870, German chemist Erich von Wolf figured out the amount of iron in spinach. However, while recording his finding, he misplaced the decimal point. Rather than writing that spinach had 3.5 milligrams of iron per 100-gram serving—which is the accurate measurement—he wrote that it had 35 milligrams. Author and scientist Samuel Arbesman has noted that this “would be like eating a small piece of a paper clip.”
  Surprisingly, no one noticed this mistake for 70 years, by which point the public viewed spinach as an iron superfood. This concept was used in the creation of the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor, who would develop superhero strength whenever he ate a can of spinach. Today, decades after the correction, many still believe spinach to be far richer in iron than it really is.
  While the public have been slowly digesting spinach’s less-than-stellar iron status, scientists have continued studying the leafy green and have come up with a new health claim. According to researchers from Freie Universität Berlin, spinach contains the hormone ecdysterone, which may be similar to steroids. In studying the effects ecdysterone had on athletes, the scientists found that those taking pills with the hormone had higher increases in muscle mass and better performance in weightlifting. While the hormone present in spinach isn’t currently a banned substance for athletes, the news of it does seem to be bringing us back to the age-old question: Is spinach an ordinary vegetable or a strength-giving food?
1. Who was Popeye the Sailor?
(A) A person who was born with superhuman strength.
(B) A sailor and scientist that studied spinach.
(C) A mascot for a canned spinach company.
(D) A fictional character from a cartoon.
2. What does “get to the bottom of this” in the first paragraph refer to?
(A) Discover why people incorrectly think spinach has more iron than it actually does.
(B) Determine why spinach has more iron than any other vegetable.
(C) Find out why von Wolf decided to study spinach.
(D) Figure out why Popeye liked spinach so much.
3. What is an effect scientists are now suggesting spinach has?
(A) It can dramatically reduce weight.
(B) It can build up a person’s muscles.
(C) It can cause high blood pressure.
(D) It can lead to better results in running races.
4. What is the author’s attitude toward spinach?
(A) Upset.
(B) Neutral.
(C) Disgusted.
(D) Enthusiastic.


hype n. 大肆宣傳,炒作
intake n. 攝取量
chemist n. 化學家
a decimal point  小數點
 decimal a. 小數的,十進位的 & n. 小數
milligram n.(重量單位)毫克
serving n.(食物、飲料等)一份
superfood n.(對健康非常有益的)超級食物
less-than-stellar  一點也不出色的
 stellar a. 出色的;優秀的
leafy a. 多葉的
hormone n. 激素,荷爾蒙
ecdysterone n. 蛻皮甾酮
steroid n. 類固醇
mass n. 大量;團,塊
weightlifting n. 舉重(不可數)
 weightlifter n. 舉重選手
substance n. 物質
mascot n. 吉祥物
enthusiastic a. 熱衷的
 enthusiasm n. 熱衷,熱情

1. base A on / upon B  將 A 奠立在 B 的基礎上
be based on / upon...  基於/根據……
• The boss based his decision on faulty data.
• That movie is based on a famous comic book.

2. get to the bottom of...  找出……的真相
• The detective is determined to get to the bottom of the case.

3. come up with...  提出/想出……(主意、點子)
• The manager came up with a way to solve the company’s financial problems.

4. be born with...  與生俱有……
• Daniel was born with a talent for singing.

5. build up...  增強/增加……
• Mountaineering is good for building up your leg strength.

1. boost vt. 提高,增強
• That new gasoline additive has really boosted my car’s performance.
*additive n. 添加物

2. flawed a. 有瑕疵的,有錯誤的
flaw n. 瑕疵,缺點 & vt. 使有瑕疵
• Your design was rejected because it is flawed.
• It takes a sharp eye to see the flaw in this gem.
*a sharp eye  敏銳的眼力

3. prompt vt. 促使,激勵
prompt sb to V  促使/激勵某人(做)……
• A recent study prompted thousands of people to stop using the drug.

4. gobble vt. 狼吞虎嚥
gobble up / down...  將……很快吃掉
= wolf down...
• John gobbled up his breakfast in two minutes and left quickly for work.

5. misplace vt. 將……放錯地方;
• My mother misplaced her glasses and can’t find them anywhere.

6. measurement n. 測量(法)
take measurements  進行測量;量尺寸
• The tailor took measurements for my suit.

7. surprisingly adv. 令人意外地
• The pasta May cooked was surprisingly tasty.

8. concept n. 概念,觀念
• It is hard to define a concept as abstract as beauty.

9. digest vt. 理解;消化
• This chapter is difficult for beginners to digest.
• Taking a walk after a large meal may help you digest your food.

10. ban vt. 禁止(本文為過去分詞作形容詞用)
ban sb from V-ing  禁止某人(做)……
• My parents banned me from smoking.

11. fictional a. 虛構的
• The events in this film are entirely fictional.

12. dramatically adv. 大大地,劇烈地
• Temperatures have been dropping dramatically due to the incoming storm.

13. neutral a. 中立的
• That country stayed neutral during the war.

advise vt. 建議
advise sb to V  建議某人做……
• I’d advise you not to tell Alan the truth.

advice n. 建議,忠告(不可數)
• Can you give me some advice on what to order?
a. affect vt. 影響
 effect n. 影響
• This article is about how climate change affects Arctic ecology.
b. choose vt. & vi. 選擇
 choice n. 選擇
• The radio station chose people at random for the free tickets.
c. complain vi. 抱怨
 complaint n. 抱怨;投訴
• Bill turned a deaf ear to his wife’s complaints.
d. devise vt. 設計,發明
 device n. 器具,裝置
• Billy’s dream is to devise a pen that will do all of his homework for him.
• This machine has a safety device.
e. prove vt. 證明
 proof n. 證明,證據(不可數)
• Even though he had no proof, Jimmy still claimed that he was the owner of the wallet.

Today, decades after the correction, many still believe spinach to be far richer in iron than it really is.
※ 修飾一般形容詞或副詞可用 very、too、quite 等。
• The traffic cop signaled Lisa to pull over because she was driving too fast.
• I saw three movies last weekend, one of which was quite interesting.
※ 形容詞或副詞變成比較級時,就不能用上列這些字來修飾,而要用 far、much、even、still、a lot、a great deal、a bit、a little (bit) 等副詞或副詞片語。
• Authentic leather is far more expensive than artificial leather, but it lasts a lot longer.
• Accommodation in Taipei is much cheaper than that in Tokyo.
• The cake smells good and tastes even better.
• Janet speaks English a lot more fluently than I do.
• It’s a bit colder today than it was yesterday.
※ far 及 much 亦可修飾副詞 too
• I’m far too tired to walk after shopping all day.


  如果曾有人建議你吃菠菜來增加鐵的攝取量,那麼他們可能是基於同一個有瑕疵的研究,該研究促使卡通人物卜派狼吞虎嚥吞下這種綠色蔬菜。你必須回到十九世紀才能找到這個問題的真相。1870 年,德國化學家埃里希.馮.沃爾夫算出了菠菜中的鐵含量。然而,在記錄他的發現時,他將小數點的位置放錯了。他把每份一百克菠菜的含鐵量寫成了「三十五」毫克而不是 3.5 毫克(這是正確的測量值)。作家暨科學家山謬.阿貝斯曼指出,這「會像是吃了一小段迴紋針一樣。」
  當大眾慢慢理解菠菜的鐵含量不怎麼出色的同時,科學家已持續對這種綠葉蔬菜進行研究並提出新的健康主張。根據柏林自由大學的研究人員所言,菠菜中或許含有類似於類固醇的激素 ── 蛻皮甾酮。在研究蛻皮甾酮對運動員的影響時,科學家發現那些服用含有此激素之藥丸的運動員,其肌肉量增加更多,舉重的表現也更好。雖然這種在菠菜中的激素目前不是運動員禁用的物質,但有關它的消息似乎確實帶我們回到一個由來已久的問題:菠菜是普通的蔬菜還是增強力量的食物?
1. 誰是大力水手卜派?
(A) 一個天生具有超人力量的人。
(B) 一名研究菠菜的水手暨科學家。
(C) 一個菠菜罐頭公司的吉祥物。
(D) 一名出自卡通的虛構人物。
2. 第一段的 “get to the bottom of this” 指的是什麼?
(A) 探索為什麼人們錯誤地認為菠菜的含鐵量比實際的高。
(B) 查明為什麼菠菜擁有的鐵比其他任何蔬菜還多。
(C) 查明為什麼馮.沃爾夫決定要研究菠菜。
(D) 了解為什麼卜派這麼喜歡菠菜。
3. 現在科學家表明菠菜擁有什麼功效?
(A) 它可以使人大幅減重。
(B) 它可以增強人的肌肉。
(C) 它會導致高血壓。
(D) 它可以提升賽跑的成績。
4. 作者對於菠菜的態度為何?
(A) 生氣的。 (B) 中立的。
(C) 厭惡的。 (D) 熱衷的。
答案:1. D 2. A 3. B 4. B






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